Fast food may make you fat, but mere thoughts of fast food can have wider reaching effects: Haste and impatience... Read more »
Chen-Bo Zhong, & Sanford E. DeVoe. (2010) You Are How You Eat: Fast Food and Impatience. Psycholgoical Science. info:/10.1177/0956797610366090
When you run a blog which focuses on skepticism and fact checking, you can occasionally discover that even a seemingly common, everyday, undisputed bit of science can have its detractors. About two months ago, two people who commented on my review of NatGeo’s dramatic what-if scenario about our future if all the oil in the [...]... Read more »
Glasby, G. (2006) Abiogenic Origin of Hydrocarbons: An Historical Overview. Resource Geology, 56(1), 83-96. DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-3928.2006.tb00271.x
If you ever saw the dramatic seamount scene in Blue Planet (and if you haven’t, where ya been??), then you are probably familiar with the idea that submarine mountains can attract lots of animals; as Attenborough puts it, they “create oases where life can flourish in the comparatively empty expanses of the open ocean”. In that spectacular BBC sequence, jacks and tuna swarm an Eastern Pacific ... Read more »
Morato, T., Hoyle, S., Allain, V., & Nicol, S. (2010) Seamounts are hotspots of pelagic biodiversity in the open ocean. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0910290107
...and what can word-learning in dogs teach us about the evolution of language in humans?
What is involved in the learning of a single new word? Consider the word "tiger", being learned by a child with already a modest vocabulary, at least for animal words. First the child must make a new entry in the mental lexicon - that "tiger" is a word in the first place. He has to categorize it as a noun. It has to be categorized under "animal" (a supernym) and related to its hyponyms, like "Sumatran tige........ Read more »
Kaminski, J., Call, J., & Fischer, J. (2004) Word Learning in a Domestic Dog: Evidence for "Fast Mapping". Science, 304(5677), 1682-1683. DOI: 10.1126/science.1097859
After witnessing a C-section performed by flashlight in Nigeria, Laura Stachel, an OB-GYN doctor at UC Berkley founded WE CARE (Women’s Emergency Communication and Reliable Electricity) Solar. To bring power to needy hospitals around the globe, she developed the solar suitcase: a portable solar electric system, used to power overhead LED lights and charge walkie-talkies, cell phones, and LED headlamp batteries.... Read more »
Fadare, D. (2009) Modelling of solar energy potential in Nigeria using an artificial neural network model. Applied Energy, 86(9), 1410-1422. DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2008.12.005
... Read more »
Schlegel, J., & Rupf, R. (2010) Attitudes towards potential animal flagship species in nature conservation: A survey among students of different educational institutions. Journal for Nature Conservation. DOI: 10.1016/j.jnc.2009.12.002
Antidepressant medications have been the mainstay of treatment for depressive disorders for decades. But these drugs may not be as effective as once believed, according to a new analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a meta-analysis of data from trials of antidepressants and [...]... Read more »
Fournier, J., DeRubeis, R., Hollon, S., Dimidjian, S., Amsterdam, J., Shelton, R., & Fawcett, J. (2010) Antidepressant Drug Effects and Depression Severity: A Patient-Level Meta-analysis. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(1), 47-53. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.1943
Torpey, D., & Klein, D. (2009) Chronic depression: Update on classification and treatment. Current Psychiatry Reports, 10(6), 458-464. DOI: 10.1007/s11920-008-0074-6
Regular readers of these pages will recall previous posts on the role of brown fat tissue and its potential role in the prevention of weight gain. This tissue, helps burn excess calories by directly converting them into heat - people with more brown fat may be less likely to become obese (click here for TV [...]... Read more »
Vegiopoulos A, Müller-Decker K, Strzoda D, Schmitt I, Chichelnitskiy E, Ostertag A, Diaz MB, Rozman J, Hrabe de Angelis M, Nüsing RM.... (2010) Cyclooxygenase-2 Controls Energy Homeostasis in Mice by de Novo Recruitment of Brown Adipocytes. Science (New York, N.Y.). PMID: 20448152
A comment on Twitter about PubMed left me wondering aloud why people use the thing instead of Google Scholar. This idle comment brought a surprising amount of comments.
Before I get to the comments, let me explain my point of view. I’ve never warmed to PubMed, although I know many of my peers use it multiple times daily. I suppose part of it is the “med” moniker. While PubMed does include a lot of the basic biological literature, it’s still fundamentally a medical resource. And I am not........ Read more »
Falagas, M., Pitsouni, E., Malietzis, G., & Pappas, G. (2007) Comparison of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar: strengths and weaknesses. The FASEB Journal, 22(2), 338-342. DOI: 10.1096/fj.07-9492LSF
Shultz, M. (2007) Comparing test searches in PubMed and Google Scholar. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 95(4), 442-445. DOI: 10.3163/1536-5050.95.4.442
A look at a commentary that criticizes the concept of "food addiction"... Read more »
Epstein DH, & Shaham Y. (2010) Cheesecake-eating rats and the question of food addiction. Nature neuroscience, 13(5), 529-31. PMID: 20421898
Coastlines around the world will be affected by rising sea level over the next several decades. In some places, the impacts will be severe as flooding, erosion, and storm surge cause damage to coastal towns and transform habitats for coastal species. The big question for resource managers and planners: Where are the most vulnerable places?... Read more »
Abuodha, P., & Woodroffe, C. (2010) Assessing vulnerability to sea-level rise using a coastal sensitivity index: a case study from southeast Australia. Journal of Coastal Conservation. DOI: 10.1007/s11852-010-0097-0
Since first coming on the market in 1998, erectile dysfunction drug Viagra has improved the lives of countless men. Now new research has suggested that phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors like Viagra could also help women – but not how you think.
Researchers in California have shown that sildenafil (Viagra) and a similar drug called vardenafil [...]... Read more »
Hu, J., Ljubimova, J., Inoue, S., Konda, B., Patil, R., Ding, H., Espinoza, A., Wawrowsky, K., Patil, C., Ljubimov, A.... (2010) Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitors Increase Herceptin Transport and Treatment Efficacy in Mouse Metastatic Brain Tumor Models. PLoS ONE, 5(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010108
Don’t get me wrong, Sigmund Freud and Wilder Penfield were far more intelligent and successful than I, but in hindsight we now have evidence that disconfirms their models of memory. The costs of having an inaccurate model of how memory works are immense. There are financial and opportunity costs to psychotherapy participants and on occasion [...]... Read more »
Goodman, G. (1994) Predictors of Accurate and Inaccurate Memories of Traumatic Events Experienced in Childhood. Consciousness and Cognition, 3(3-4), 269-294. DOI: 10.1006/ccog.1994.1016
Loftus EF, & Loftus GR. (1980) On the permanence of stored information in the human brain. The American psychologist, 35(5), 409-20. PMID: 7386971
McNally, N. (2003) Remembering Trauma. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University. info:/
Quas JA, Goodman GS, Bidrose S, Pipe ME, Craw S, & Ablin DS. (1999) Emotion and memory: Children's long-term remembering, forgetting, and suggestibility. Journal of experimental child psychology, 72(4), 235-70. PMID: 10074380
When you see someone else in pain, the pain network in your own brain winces as if you were experiencing their pain yourself. This is great for everyday empathy, but not necessarily so useful if you're a doctor. When you're the one wielding the needle or planning a treatment regimen, you need to make sure your concern for your patient's pain doesn't distract you from the task at hand. According to Jean Decety, doctors get around this conflict by reducing their sensitivity to other people's pain......... Read more »
Decety J, Yang CY, & Cheng Y. (2010) Physicians down-regulate their pain empathy response: an event-related brain potential study. NeuroImage, 50(4), 1676-82. PMID: 20080194
Do you have a body piercing somewhere? Do you like body piercings? I know of some colleagues who change their hair, the color or size when switching jobs. There’s even a Dutch psychiatrist who thinks that rigorous change of hair style predicts the onset of schizophrenia. More recent is the publication of a review on [...]
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... Read more »
Bui, E., Rodgers, R., Cailhol, L., Birmes, P., Chabrol, H., & Schmitt, L. (2010) Body Piercing and Psychopathology: A Review of the Literature. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 79(2), 125-129. DOI: 10.1159/000276376
This is one of those things that isn't really related to neuroscience, to weird science, or to any of Sci's normal science. Really, it was just something Sci found (in various places), and thought was really awesome. Cause it is!
BEHOLD! The INCREDIBLE HEALING MOUSE!!!
For those who know about working with rodents, it looks like a rat, don't it? It's a mouse! But it looks like a rat because these dudes are some big boys. This is an MRL mouse, which stands for 'Murphy Roths Lar........ Read more »
Bedelbaeva K, Snyder A, Gourevitch D, Clark L, Zhang XM, Leferovich J, Cheverud JM, Lieberman P, & Heber-Katz E. (2010) Lack of p21 expression links cell cycle control and appendage regeneration in mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(13), 5845-50. PMID: 20231440
This is the sixth in a series of articles about emotional intelligence for personal growth. In keeping with the idea that emotional intelligence is one of the foundational concepts of mental health, I dedicate this installment to May, Mental Health Month.
It is often said that life is suffering. Some of that suffering is unavoidable. Life has a way of throwing us adversity. The pain of physical distress and illness as well as the psychological pain of loss is unavoidable. This is the first "Dar........ Read more »
Egloff B, Schmukle SC, Burns LR, & Schwerdtfeger A. (2006) Spontaneous emotion regulation during evaluated speaking tasks: associations with negative affect, anxiety expression, memory, and physiological responding. Emotion (Washington, D.C.), 6(3), 356-66. PMID: 16938078
Greenberg LS, & Pascual-Leone A. (2006) Emotion in psychotherapy: a practice-friendly research review. Journal of clinical psychology, 62(5), 611-30. PMID: 16523500
Gross JJ. (2002) Emotion regulation: affective, cognitive, and social consequences. Psychophysiology, 39(3), 281-91. PMID: 12212647
Atlatl weights are the most widespread attachments to atlatls that are durable enough to survive in conditions where the wooden parts decay, but they’re not the only attachments known to have been used. Another type of attachment, of more obvious function though of much more limited range, is the “hook” or “spur” near the back [...]... Read more »
Have you ever wondered what happens to stuff that falls into the ocean from shore? Where does it go? What happens to it? Well, if it’s plastic or something else floaty, it’ll likely end up in some vast floating garbage vortex, as we apparently have, in our apathy, created in several locations on the planet. [...]... Read more »
Vetter, E., Smith, C., & De Leo, F. (2010) Hawaiian hotspots: enhanced megafaunal abundance and diversity in submarine canyons on the oceanic islands of Hawaii. Marine Ecology, 31(1), 183-199. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0485.2009.00351.x
C. elegans is probably the most versatile nematode’s known to molecular and developmental biotechnologists. It has been in use in laboratories since 1974 and was the first multicellular organism to have its entire genome sequenced. As one of the simplest organisms with a nervous system, it is a favorite research specimen of neurobiologists world-wide. [...]... Read more »
Oren-Suissa M, Hall DH, Treinin M, Shemer G, & Podbilewicz B. (2010) The Fusogen EFF-1 Controls Sculpting of Mechanosensory Dendrites. Science (New York, N.Y.). PMID: 20448153
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